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Dual Enrollment gives high school students the chance to earn college credit while still in high school, and someone else picks up most of the cost. Also, colleges offer financial help for those who need it, so there’s a chance it won’t cost anything. Many students who participate can end up with a year’s worth (or more) of college credit, so it takes less time and money to earn a college degree.
Colleges and high schools work together to make sure the courses meet the students’ needs and schedules. Actually, students who take dual enrollment classes usually take the same number of courses as their peers—sometimes even fewer. Students must meet certain eligibility requirements (GPA and test scores, for example), and as long as students receive a “C” or better, the courses count for both high school and college credit.
First, you’ll want to find out when the classes begin and check eligibility. Each school is different, but check with school counselors or GEAR UP Coaches to find out about availability. Dual Enrollment classes can range from a variety of different subjects like math, English, Spanish, science, and more. Students generally need to take some sort of placement test or standardized testing like the ACT, SAT, AZMerit to determine eligibility.
Dual Enrollment classes are designed to work with high school students’ existing schedules. Students may take them online, at their high school, or even at a local college. Dual Enrollment classes typically last a whole semester and are more rigorous than high school classes. Unlike AP/IB Classes, students don’t need to take a particular test to earn credit, and all credits go towards bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees, and career and technical certificates. However, since all colleges are a little different, check ahead of time to see what is required and accepted. Successfully completing dual enrollment classes gives students a head start towards earning a college degree.
Still wondering if this is right for your family? A 2017 Columbia University study showed that 88% of students who enrolled in dual enrollment classes while in high school went on to enroll in college after high school. Don’t forget, check in with your GEAR UP Coach to get more information.